Rotational brownouts ‘end’ this week
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - December 19, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - While power was back to “normal” last Sunday after weeks of rotational brownouts, the Department of Energy-Visayas Field Office (DOE-VFO) yesterday said the brownouts returned last Tuesday after a Toledo City power plant conked out.

The good news is the Samar-Leyte connection is now restored enough power would soon be available “in the next two days”.

This is aside from the Toledo power plant being already operational by Sunday.

DOE-VFO Engineer Jose Rey Maleza told a forum his agency organized that a power plant of the Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) in Toledo City malfunctioned Tuesday.

“Unfortunately the other night (December 17), CEDC Unit 1 went down. So, nagkulang ta og (we lacked) 82 megawatts from the grid”, he said.

That is why another round of rotational brownouts was resorted to Tuesday night, or merely two days after enough power was supposedly achieved last Sunday.

Maleza said Luzon started feeding 181 megawatts to the Visayas Saturday night to the Visayas grid, which was more than enough to cover the lack caused by super typhoon Yolanda.

The Nov. 8 typhoon damaged power lines connecting Cebu to the geothermal plants in Samar and Leyte.

Yesterday, Maleza said restoration is ongoing and that connection to the Panay; Eastern Samar; and Palo, Leyte sources were already restored power from there is expected to be back “in the next two days”.

He said this was done through an Emergency Restoration Systems,  the damaged towers in Samar, Cebu, Negros, Panay, and Leyte would not be fixed anymore.

He said sturdier towers would be built and in more stable locations.

He added that Yolanda was too powerful for the old towers, which were built to withstand typhoons with strengths of up to 250 kilometers per hour.

Yolanda damaged Leyte’s geothermal plants, which supplies one third of the power requirements in the Visayas and is considered as the biggest source of the region.

Among the measures adopted to minimize brownouts is the Visayan Electric Company’s “interruptible load program”.

“The interruptible load program means power plants sa mga industrial-commercial establishments during peak hours ginagamit nila, so that hindi sila magdugang sa demand sa system,” Maleza said,

He, however, declined to comment if construction of the new power towers means additional cost to the consumers in the typhoon-affected areas.

DOE-VFO organized the forum to strengthen awareness on renewable energy and to give updates to renewable energy partners, developers, and stakeholders.

DOE-VFO Renewable Energy Management Bureau Assistant Director Marissa Cerezo, on the other hand, said renewable energy is “clean and green” there should be no limit to its use.

“Increase the mix of resources of renewable, considering the experience we have in our climate conditions.  It’s a global call to reduce emissions and one way of reducing it is to utilize more clean and green energy resources,” she said.

Cerezo said the average cost in investing in renewable energy is 2 million to 2.5 million dollars per megawatt, which can already light up a whole city.— (FREEMAN)

CEBU CEBU ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORP DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY-VISAYAS FIELD OFFICE EASTERN SAMAR ENERGY LEYTE MALEZA POWER TOLEDO CITY YOLANDA
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